Man of God Top 10 – #1 Love

The #1 thing that describes a man of God is love.  I’m sure you saw this coming, how could you not.  Love is everywhere in the Bible.  We are told that God is love and that we are made in the image of God, that we are to try to live our life like Jesus (who is God), so how could love not be one of the most important things for a man of God.

I come back to 1 Timothy 6:11 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”  Pursue love.  In other words do everything in love.  Because if we do everything in love how can you go wrong? (Yes, I realize that statement is not entirely accurate or true but you get the idea)

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was he replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  this is the first and greatest commandment.  And second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the law and the Prophets and on these two commandments.”

Love with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  God deserves this kind of love because he is God.  There is nothing that he hasn’t done or won’t do for the goodness of mankind, including punishing us, because he loves us.  We, men of God, should live each day with an awe inspiring view of God and the love that he has for us.  We should do everything with love in our hearts.  Loving our neighbor, co-worker, friend, family, complete stranger, orphan, widow, everyone just as Christ loved us.

And here is a kicker for you.  If you truly love someone would you not want them to know the God that you know, the God that loves them, the God that saves them?  How can you love someone and not share the Gospel with them?  It is all well and good to say that you love someone, to do everything in love, but what are you doing to show God’s love (and yours) for the people that you interact with?  The greatest thing that you can do in love is to share the gospel!

There you go men.  Love.  Do it!


Man of God Top 10 – #3 Keeps the Word

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

I love this verse because it says so much with so few words.  The Word of God, a phrase that we hear all the time but that I think sometimes we take for granted.  The word of God is usually refering to the Bible, a book, but it is so much more!  John 1:1 refers to Jesus as the Word.  Everything God had taught his people, everything he would tell us in the Bible, was wrapped into Jesus.  Jesus was the ultimate man of God and if we want to be men of God we need to be like him.

The Bible is so much more than a book.  Yes, it has a cover and pages and words.  There are paragraphs, themes, stories and puncuation.  But, where the Bible is different from any other book is that it is the word or the living God!  Think about it for a minute.  God speaks to us through the Bible.  He can give you an answer to any question you might have through the Bible.  Everyone always asks for the answers to life’s questions…well here they are!

Being a man of God means keeping His word.  This is another multi-part commandment.  In order to keep the word, you have to know the word.  To know the word you have to spend time reading the word, memorizing the word, meditating on the word.  The great thing about God’s word is that you can read one passage this week, then read the same passage next week and God will reveal something completely new!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

That is a lot of stuff that one book can do!  Pay attention to verse 17, “…so that the man of God cay be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  God gave us the scripture, His word, to equip men of God.  But you can’t be equipped if you don’t spend time in the word!

But there is more… “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” James 1:22  So we can’t just read the word and study the word we have to live the word!  It is like the Jewish holy men in Jesus’ time.  They would  pride themselves in having the entire old testament memorized – WOW!  But when Jesus came he said that the did not know these men.  It is not enough to memorize bible verses so that you can regurgitate them at cocktail parties (interesting thought!), you have to truly live the word that God has given you.

So make reading the Bible part of your daily routine.  Read with a purpose, to come closer to God, to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  Read with your wife, read with your children.  Show them that you are keeping the word of God and that it isn’t just words, that it is God speaking to us everyday.

Man of God Top 10 – #5 Prayerful

A man of God is prayerful.

I have mentioned it a few times now, prayer.  Ephesians 6:18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tell us to pray about everything, all the time, in all situations (heck, Jonah prayed while inside a fish!).  It doesn’t matter that you don’t have all the fancy lingo, or that you don’t pray in a specific format; there are no rules!  Just pray.

Jesus did give us some guidelines for our prayer in Mathew 6:5-13.  These are not rules about how and what to pray but rather he is showing us what the true purpose of prayer is.  He says not to pray to be seen by men (6:5).  The purpose of prayer is not to prove that you are a christian or to exalt yourself as a prayerful man.  Prayer is to talk to God.  To worship God.  To thank God for all that he has done for you and to ask for guidance and help in your life.  Jesus tell us to pray in secret (6:6) so that it is just between you and God, your family and God, or a body of worshippers and God.  Prayer is not to be a public spectacle.

And don’t think that a prayer has to be drawn out and long to be good – no babbling! (6:7)  The best prayer is the one that is from the heart.  It could be as simple as “Thank you God!”.  I often get caught in the thought that what I have to say to God is not important enough to bother him with.  Wrong!  God wants to hear our prayers.  Jesus died so that we would be able to have that direct line of communication with God.  If you don’t know what to pray just start talking to God.  Remember, this whole christian “thing” is about a relationship with God.  When you are in a relationship with someone you talk to them right?

Pray with your families.  Husbands, pray with your wives.  One of the best ways to ensure a lasting and strong marriage is to pray together.  Fathers, pray with your kids.  What better way to show them that God is an integral part of your family’s life than to pray all the time and about all things.

Men of God are the spiritual leaders of the family.  Lead in prayer!

Man of God Top 10 – #7 Gentle/Humble

Being a man is not about being rough and tough.  Real men are strong, and at the same time gentle.  Real men are confident, while still being humble.

“…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle…”  Ephesians 4:2

As men of God we are called to a higher standard.  We cannot be the bullies and the tough guys on the playground anymore.  We have to step out of that sterotype and show the world that real men are gentle.  Jesus tells us that we will be known by our fruits; those being love, joy , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23)  Don’t hide your gentle side, or only let it out in your home.  “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”  Philippians 4:5

Too many men think that they have to be proud and arrogant, to show that they are in total control and that they can do it all.  Without God, we can do nothing; but through God all things are possible.  Remember that it isn’t you that is responsible for the good things in your life; God makes it all possible.   Be humble, show God the respect he deserves by not taking credit for the things that he does.

Go out and show the world what a real man is; humble and gentle.  A real man of God!

“I’m Not Called”…the ultimate Christian cop-out?

“That’s great for you, but I’m just not called…”  “I just don’t feel led to do that.”  “Some people just aren’t called to…”

Since my wife and I made the decisions to homeschool and to adopt we have heard these phrases more times than we can count.  People saying how great it is to adopt, or to stay home with our kids, but that they just couldn’t do it, they just aren’t “called”.

That phrase, “I’m not called.”, has become the ultimate excuse for any Christian who does not want to do something!  I realize that it is sometimes legitimate, that not everyone is called to do everything.  God does call specific people to do specific things; teaching, healing, evangelizing, etc.  However, there are also some things that He calls all Christians to do.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  Matthew 28:18

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

These are two of the classic example of what Jesus is calling all Christians to do.  Yet when you ask someone what they are doing to spread the Word or to help orphans and widows you will undoubtedly hear, “I’m not called to missions.” or “I just don’t feel led to adopt.”  To these people I say, “Great!  But what are you doing to spread the Word and to help the orphans and widows?”

Spreading the Word of God does not mean that you have to give up everything you have and live in the jungle, or travel around the world preaching.  It means being bold in your workplace and when talking to your neighbors.  It means supporting missionaries and outreach programs.  It means talking to your friends about Jesus’ love for them, and not just your mutual love of football.

In the same vein, looking after orphans does not mean that everyone is in the position to adopt 10 kids.  But anyone can sponsor a child in need.  Anyone can pray for the more than 143 million orphans in the world (and this may be an old number).  Sometimes the only thing keeping a child from having a family is the cost of the adoption.  If every Christian pitched in some money to help cover these expenses how many more children would have a home?

My point is not to try and say that everyone is called to everything that God says is good, or to imply that I am doing everything right (far from it!).  My point is that before you take the easy way out of something by saying “I’m just not called.”, stop and think about it.  Have you actually prayed about that specifically to see if you are called?  Have you actually listened to what God is calling you to do?  Sometimes we aren’t “called” because to admit that would be to admit that we aren’t doing what we know God is asking us to do.   And sometimes God asks us to do some pretty hard things.

Just because something is hard, uncomfortable, expensive, or intimidating doesn’t mean that God isn’t equipping and calling you to do just that.

Just a little encouragement…

In case you are doubting yourself lately or wondering if you are really capable of doing what God is calling you to do, here is a little morsel from 1John:

“I write you young men, because you are strong, and the work of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1John 2:16

John was writing this to various Gentile churches and to believers everywhere (yep, that means you!).  Don’t think for a second that you are not capable of whatever God is calling you to do.  You are equipped to do good works and are given everything you need, through Him, to accomplish the tasks He has set out for you.

So what are you waiting for?  Go out and do it!!

Challenge for the Day: Bring up God, Jesus, your faith, etc. in a conversation today with someone who doesn’t know Jesus (or you don’t know if they know Jesus).